A friend of mine living in Mumbai says that he has no knowledge of residents eating cat and dog meat. Fair enough. However, the Mumbai Mirror has an article dated 28 Dec 2018 which states that it is certain that Mumbai residents do eat dog meat sometimes and it is suggested that they also eat cats. I suspect that it is true because if they eat stray dogs it is likely that stray cats are on the menu too.
One important factor in this discussion is that some Indians dislike (hate?) the British writing about Indians eating cat and dog meat. It is a throwback to British colonialism. They think they are being talked down to and lectured when they are not. It is a discussion no more; done coldly and as carefully as possible. It is factual.
So please don’t have a go at me for writing this. I fully understand the cultural differences and I am respectful of them. I have just written about Madagascarans eating their pet cats out of convenience. Yes, on the large island of Madagascar they don’t eat their pet cats because they are starving, they do it because it is convenient. For Westerners this is unacceptable and for them it is okay. I accept that. But it is like cannibalism as pet cats are part of the family and treated as little humans by millions. But apparently not on the island of Madagascar.
In fact dogs are eaten in other parts of India such as Nagaland. Apparently there are ‘practically no dogs in Nagaland’ according to a student interviewed by the newspaper who lives in Guwahati, a sprawling city in the northeast India state of Assam. They are caught and consumed by the residents. He said that their innards are cleaned and filled with rice and cooked on skewers. It is considered to be a delicacy.
People eat dog meat in Maharashtra and the law of that state prohibits it but it unenforced. In fact the laws: Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act outlaw the slaughter of stray animals. This must include cats. The punishment on conviction is a measly Rs 50 (0.69 of a US dollar). Not a punishment at all. Mumbai is in the state of Maharashtra.
Back to cat meat: a resident of Amboli Andheri in Mumbai said that she has lost 26 pet cats in less than 3 years. She said that she had raised the cats and let them outside occasionally but sometimes they failed to return. They “have just vanished without a trace” said Gilda Goes.
PETA is unware of the problem. A spokesperson said that people don’t care about the source of the meat they are eating, “Those who eat animals would not care about which animal’s meat they are munching on.”
It seems that the citizens of these places are pretty clear that dog meat is eaten (and perhaps cat meat) but the animal welfare organisations are not. And neither is my friend.
Location of Mumbai: